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Top Colombia


Say “Colombia” and most people will immediately think of something negative: drugs, guerrilla warfare, corruption, kidnappings or crime. This is hardly surprising, since the international press regularly features these facts about Colombia.

In truth, Colombia is one of the most beautiful countries in Latin America, and many places are just as safe to visit as other destinations on the continent. So, if you don’t stray too far from the tourist areas and heed current safety advice, there is no reason why you shouldn’t include Colombia in your itinerary. You will be well rewarded if you do. Caribbean beaches, Andean highlands and fertile rainforest claim the highest diversity of flora and fauna on the continent after Brazil, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. Yet even those places deemed safe and developed for tourism have hardly been touched by outside visitors.

It’s not, however, just natural wonders that draw travelers to come here; good food, great bars and fantastic coffee are a Colombian trademark, while the locals are reputed to be some of the friendliest and most welcoming in the world, and certainly haven’t lost their party spirit. It’s no wonder the national tourism board has adopted as its saying, “The only risk is wanting to stay.”

Places not to miss on your trip to Colombia:

  • Bogotá: A well restored colonial center, cosmopolitan atmosphere and excellent restaurants and bars make the capital worth visiting despite the noise, dirt and crime it is renowned for.
  • The combination of colonial history and Caribbean beaches make Cartagena popular with both foreign and Colombian tourists.
  • Take the six-day trek through the northern lowlands to the Ciudad Perdida (lost city), one of the largest pre-Columbian towns ever discovered in the Americas.
  • Leticia, on the southern tip bordering Peru and Brazil, is a good base for treks and boat trips into the Colombian Amazon Basin.

How to Go to Colombia
Seasoned backpackers rave about Colombia and claim it to be among the best places in the world for backpacking. For those with less experience bartering for hostels, and wanting a professionally arranged tour, designing a tour with a tour operator specialized in Colombia is an excellent option that will assure your adventure will stay safe and organized.

02 Nov 2015

VIVA Colombia

Colombia Highlights

Museo de Oro

This small collection of pre-Columbian stone, textile, ceramic work, and requisite gold pieces, including some very fine, 2,500-year-old filigree pieces, provides excellent explanations about ...
Pasto, Colombia

Ciudad Perdida (Lost City)

120802Deep in the recesses of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in the upper Río Buritaca valley, lies one of the ancient Tayrona nation\'s most impressive cities, Teyuna, or Ciudad Perdida (Lost City). ...
Major Attraction

Parque Nacional del Café

If Juan Valdez, the image of Colombian coffee through the world, had a farm, it would probably be on the grounds of the Parque Nacional del Café, the theme park for all things coffee related. ...
V!va List

Plaza de Bolívar

119504 Plaza Bolívar is the ideal place for relaxation in the center of the old city. At lunchtime, locals take advantage of the shade offered around the center statue of Simon Bolívar on his horse, and ...
City Plaza
El Centro, Cartagena, Colombia

Colombia's Best Beaches

Playa Blanca

Very few foreigners know of Playa Blanca, 30 minutes west of Coveñas. This town has small beaches separated by jetties. It's where Colombians seeking sand and sun come to vacation. During the ...
Coveñas, Colombia

The Blowing Hole

106592Only on a small Caribbean island in the middle of the ocean could a hole in the ground which occasionally blows a strong puff of air be a major tourist attraction. On the southern end of the island, ...
San Andres, Colombia

Santa Marta Beaches

122212Nothing surpasses the pale sand and warm waters of the Caribbean coast. Santa Marta is no exception. Within the city itself there\'s a beach along the camellón (seafront). Although a bit dirty, it ...
Santa Marta, Colombia

The Other Beaches

121265Most visitors to Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona go to the beaches near Cañaveral and Arrecifes in the humid forest zone of the park. On the western end of Tayrona are other less-frequented beaches ...

Playa Grande and Playa Cristal

121157If the beach in town gets too familiar, try one of the other stretches of sand nearby. The knoll on the right-hand-side of Taganga Bay shelters Playa Grande, an expanse of pale golden arena. From the ...
Taganga, Colombia

El Almejal Beach

120184One of Colombia’s most spectacular beaches is El Almejal. The beach stretches two kilometers (1.2 mi) and ends dramatically as the ocean’s fury makes a meal of the surrounding rocks. Here, you ...
El Valle, Colombia

Playa Blanca

One of the must-do tours from Cartagena is Playa Blanca, on Isla Barú. This is the dream beach: A palm-shaded white strand of fine sand skirting a crystalline turquoise sea. Many dream of a paradise ...
Beach, Other Activity
Near Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia

La Boquilla

143301During the week, the men of La Boquilla still doff their fishermen’s caps and head out to sea. But when weekends and holidays come, they are often helping their womenfolk take care of hungry ...
Other Activity, Beach
Near Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena's Beaches

143299After spending hours wandering Cartagena’s narrow streets, a perfect way to cool down is to hit the beach. Marbella is the closest to the city. This several-kilometer-long beach begins just 300 ...
Cartagena, Colombia

Playa El Morro

The Isla Tumaco-Isla El Morro road ends in a loop at a glistening, black-sand beach and warm-watered sea. Just offshore is the haystack-shaped El Morro rock formation.The main strand is the most ...
Playa El Morro, Tumaco, Colombia

Colombia's Top Treks

The Lost City Hike / Ciudad Perdida Hike

137498 Treks to Teyuna (or Ciudad Perdida) combine the opportunity to see some of Colombia’s natural beauty with a fascinating insight into the ancient indigenous Tayrona culture. Usually a five-day ...

The Camino Real from San Gil to the Río Magdalena

121276 I heard a bit of buzz from a friend in San Gil: Go trekking on the old camino real (highway), or Camino de los Guanes, to the Río Magdalena. I checked it out a bit. Indeed, it appears you can ...
San Gil, Colombia

Las Lagunillas

123168An easy one-day hike road trip is to Las Laguillas. The “camino” is well defined along the Río Lagunillas, a small stream flowing around copses of “frailejón” and across the plain, ...

Camino Real to Guane

120951The Camino Real to Guane is part of the old Camino de Herradura that traversed the countryside from Girón, near Bucaramanga, to Barrancabermeja on the banks of the Río Magdalena. It was originally ...
Barichara , Colombia

Sierra Nevada del Cocuy

121181If mountaineering and appreciating rare, natural beauty is your cup of tea, then you better start planning now to climb Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. Pico Iyer listed the mountain range with 18 snow ...
Cocuy , Colombia


123165Another prime activity in PNN El Cocuy is trekking across its plains. A series old trails traverse the wind-swept landscaped rimed with snow-covered mountains. The solitude makes it a wondrous ...

El Pilón de Azúcar

122622 Out on the northeastern horizon, you see an odd triangular-shaped rock rising out of the flat landscape. This is Kamainshi (Kamaici), the Lord of the Things of the Sea—or for alijuna, El Pilón ...
Cabo de Vela, Colombia

Cueva de Cuchumba

123169Not too far from Hacienda La Esperanza, along the Quebrada El Cóncavo, is Cueva de Cuchumba. This cave with a waterfall within was once an important ceremonial center for the U\'wa. It was here they ...

Volcán Puracé

114992The star of this 803,600-hectare national park is Volcán Puracé. A near-perfect cone peak, it rises 4,760 meters (15,613 feet). A well-defined trail leads from the Pilimbalá ranger station through ...

Volcán Galeras

115054 Early Pastuso mornings you can catch a glimpse of Galeras, when the clouds lift enough to see it sending up smoke signals. Located only seven kilometers (4.2 mi) from Pasto, the volcano has high ...
Near Pasto, Pasto, Colombia
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